OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AT UN-WORK
WTF? I JUST DON’T GET IT!
Okay, so I was and still am a supporter of a single payer health care system (you know, like Obama originally proposed under the Affordable Care Act but our health provider/ insurers were having none of this Socialist Imposition so, natch, it was scotched and that Bernie Sanders is proposing) and here’s one small reason why:
Got a voice mail message on my IPhone yesterday from Humana (my drug supplier – well, prescription drugs, anyway) asking me to give them a call about one of my prescriptions that I refilled online with them three days ago. It was for Lansoprazole, a pump inhibitor, that I’ve been taking for about 15 years now. I’ve never had a problem with refilling this prescription whether online or at my local neighborhood CVS (formerly Peoples’ Drugs) in all this time so I was wondering what the hell was up. Online it showed that I still had two more refills of the drug before I would have to get a new prescription from my gastroenterologist who I’ve been seeing for such delightful procedures as colonoscopy's and endoscopy's for almost a decade now. (He’s one of my favorite docs since I can always depend on him to provide me with diagnosis, prognosis and everyday homilies with no medical-speak to soften the blows.) So I was a bit mystified about what the problem was.
So I called this morning, young man answered the phone, asked for date of birth, zip code, ID number and I told him what the deal was. A few clackings on his computer keyboard (sounded like a ten year old PC to me) and informed me that the Lansoprazole refill isn’t covered by my health insurance any longer and that it would cost me $500.00.
W h a t T h e F u c k ? Five hundred dollars ($500)? Was he out of his mind? Is there some critical shortage of pump inhibitors across the land? Has India stopped manufacturing the drug? Some new Republican sponsored tariffs on the importation of medicines? Why suddenly is a drug I used to pay $30 for 30 tabs now costing $16.66 a pop?
Naturally, the young man was sympathetic (he sounded gay – sibilant ‘S”’s - but that’s just pure speculation on my part but then again, he was extremely polite with me and sympathetic to my shock). He suggested a substitute drug – the name of which was pure pharmacological doublespeak to me so I had no idea what it was – and, since I ran out of my precious stock of low cost Lansoprazole a week ago and needed them quickly, I said OK. Of course, since I’m not a doctor, a pharmacologist nor a nurse practitioner, I have absolutely no idea whether these new drugs will help or kill me. It was suggested that I l notify my gastro guy about the change.
In the end, all I can say is that there is one facet of our “health care system” that is royally fucked up. And we’re the ones who are getting royally screwed.